Alibaba Group will invest an additional US$2 billion in Lazada Group to accelerate the e-commerce platform’s growth plans in Southeast Asia, and deepen its integration into the Alibaba ecosystem. This brings the total amount invested in Lazada by Alibaba to US$4 billion, to date.
The investment will enable Lazada to tap into Alibaba’s resources to further serve consumers and empower merchants in Southeast Asia through innovative ways, the press statement read. It also underscores Alibaba’s commitment to offer a broad platform for local talents in Southeast Asia to contribute to the development of the digital economy in their home countries.
Alibaba’s spokesperson declined to comment on the percentage which will be spent on marketing.
Meanwhile, Lazada founder Max Bittner, who has been its CEO since 2012, will assume the role of senior advisor to Alibaba Group and assist in the transition and future international growth strategies. Current Lazada chairman Lucy Peng will assume the role of CEO to drive growth strategies. Peng was one of Alibaba’s 18 founders and a senior partner at Alibaba Partnership. She will be tasked with doubling down on Southeast Asia as the region has a young population and high mobile penetration rate, with just 3% of the region’s sales currently conducted online, the statement read.
“Alibaba’s new commitment of capital and resources is good for Lazada and good for the Southeast Asia e-commerce market. I am excited about the future for Lazada and Lazadians and I look forward to continuing to contribute to the success of the business by helping Lucy and Alibaba’s management,” Bittner said.
In 2016, Alibaba acquired Rocket Internet’s 9.1% stake in Lazada for US$137million, along with a transaction including Alibaba’s investment of US$500 million in Lazada. In 2017, it invested another US$1 billion in Lazada, increasing its stake in the company from 51% to approximately 83%. It was also said to be making a big investment into PT Tokopedia, one of Indonesia’s largest online marketplaces.
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